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Learn Spanish, Surf or Yoga, Turtles & Adventure

Learn Spanish, Surf or Yoga, Turtles & Adventure

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Duur
29 dagen
Begint in
Santa Teresa
Eindigt in
Santa Teresa
Learn Spanish, Surf or take Yoga Lessons, Volunteer & Adventure in Santa Teresa - Stay in a jungle surf camp hidden in tropical forest for 4 weeks to experience the best of Costa Rica.
This program starts on the first Sunday of each month, so clients can ‘settle in’ before the program proper starts on Monday morning. Programmed activities include Spanish lessons, professional surf or yoga lessons, volunteering in a range of projects in Santa Teresa and a turtle volunteer placement with CIRENAS Playa Ario. This is a traveling adventure so you can explore and enjoy the beautiful hinterland of Costa Rica and get a real feel for the biodiversity of this special part of the world.

Your experience will be based at ‘Jakera Jungle Surf Camp’ where we have created a jungle paradise complete with swimming pool overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including red squirrels, howler monkeys and tiny magical hummingbirds. We are a 5 min walk from the cool cafes, bars and shops that line the 6 km stretch of road and beach that make up Playa Santa Teresa/Playa El Carmen.

This program is quite busy and varied but there is still free time to enjoy a great social life!
Reisroute

Learn Spanish, Surf or Yoga, Turtles & Adventure

Week 1

Monday - Friday
07:00-08:30 - Breakfast
09:00-11:00 - Spanish Lesson
12:00-13:00 - Lunch
14:00-16:00 - Surf or Yoga Lessons
With the exception of Wednesday where the surf session or yoga lesson from 14:00-16:00 is replaced by a hike exploring the local area.

Saturday
Brunch. On Saturdays there is always optional volunteering at the Jakera Club.

Sunday
Brunch. Sundays are always free for you to spend as you like!

Week 2

Monday - Friday
07:00-08:30 - Breakfast
09:00-11:00 - Spanish Lesson
12:00-13:00 - Lunch
14:00-16:00 - Volunteer
With the exception of Wednesday where the volunteer session from 14:00-16:00 is replaced by a hike exploring the local area.

Sunday
Departure to Turtle Placement

Week 3

Monday-Friday
Turtle conservation volunteer placement at CIRENAS Playa Ario (about an hour drive from Santa Teresa).

Week 4

Monday-Thursday
Four day road trip to Monte Verde National Park - including hiking trips to explore Cloud and Tropical Forests

Friday
07:00-08:30 - Breakfast
09:00-11:00 - Free
12:00-13:00 - Lunch
14:00-16:00 - Free

Week 1: Surf or Yoga Lessons

During your first week with us, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday you enjoy a surfing OR 2 yoga lessons per day.

Surf lessons (approx. 2 hours) are delivered by a local professional surf instructor. As well as showing you the basics - or taking you to the next level - you learn basic safety principles taking into account local issues such as rip tides. Boards are provided for surf lessons. Additional lessons are available on request as well as board rental.

Alternatively, you can enjoy professional yoga instruction. For a long time now, this magical place has been a destination for yogis from all around the world. What better place to learn or practice yoga than on a wild beach with the sound of waves crashing on the soft white sand, or in our jungle lodge surrounded by lush foliage to the sounds of the river and birds? Many people come here every year to practice and teach yoga so there is a class to for every level from absolute beginner to advanced yogi. You will receive 8 vouchers for yoga lessons. You are free to use them when you wish during Week 1.

Popular classes include Yoga for all, Vinyasa Flow, Slow Flow, Ashtanga, Hatha, Deep Restorative, Relaxing & Mediation. You are invited to try a variety of forms of yoga during your time with us. Each class is 90 minutes (max of 8 classes per week) - a combination of group and private classes depending your needs. Yoga provides mental balance, body control and it will help you to relax and enjoy every part of your journey in Costa Rica. Enjoy the mantras and discover a new way to relax and be in tune with your body (and nature) by doing yoga and living the pura vida lifestyle.

Weeks 1 & 2: Spanish Lessons

Each day Monday to Friday there will be 2 x 45 minute Spanish lessons (usually between 09:00-11:00 with breaks but subject to change depending surf conditions). Tuition is delivered by accredited and licensed teachers and on day one you will receive a short test to establish your level and objectives. These lessons will be tailored to suit all levels from beginner to intermediate and are designed to help you interact and immerse with the local community and enjoy being in a Spanish speaking country.

Weeks 1 & 2: Hiking

We would like you to enjoy Nicoya Peninsula - an area of outstanding natural beauty - so each Wednesday in weeks 1 and 2 we will explore our surroundings on foot. The first is a 2 hour ‘jungle river trek’ along a river that runs by Jakera Jungle Surf Camp and into the lush tropical forest that surrounds us. You will quickly find yourself ‘lost’ and wondering which direction the seemingly nearby beach is.

The second Wednesday we hike from ‘beach to waterfall’ to discover a multitude of waterfalls and rivers that tumble and twist through the rainforest and out into the Pacific Ocean. This hike helps us to understand how the whole eco system works. There is a huge range of flora including trees with specific medicinal applications. We begin to understand the beauty of this truly diverse location.

Week 2: Volunteering

During your second week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons (2-3 hours per day), you participate in volunteer projects designed to conserve and respect local natural resources. Project work is varied and priorities are seasonal and weather dependent. However, most of our efforts are focused on the following areas:

Beach Conservation
Here we work alongside the Santa Teresa Lifeguards. Having seen the amazing beaches of Santa Teresa, and adjoining Playa Hermosa and Playa Carmen, the recreational opportunities are clear. However, beaches need to be maintained to keep them clear of debris that not only looks unsightly but can cause harm to people and wildlife. Work includes promoting Lifeguard issues with regard to beach safety and etiquette (through signage, presentations and speaking to visitors) and organizing clean ups with focus on recycling.

Recycling
We are leading the charge in our local community to create as many recycle stations and collection points for plastic waste in particular so that Bionics can easily collect it all once a week from main road. We have built two recycle stations on our street and this has reduced the normal garbage by 30 % or more. As a result, on our street alone we collect a huge amount of plastic for Bionics each month.

We clean the beaches of plastic once a week at least and participate in community clean ups on a monthly bases and this month collected close to a ton of recyclable rubbish in one day with the help of about 100 volunteers. We go once a week to the Bionics Depo 30 mins away in Cobano to help them clean, organise and package the plastic for shipment to the USA where they turn it into shoes, T-shirts, building blocks and a whole variety of consumer goods , hence giving real value to this recycled material. This is the future and this is what may just save the planet or make a difference at least. Once this "rubbish" has value people will start to take notice and collect it and turn it into something useful. This way we show our students the full cycle of events, how plastic gets into the eco system, how hard it is to take it out once it's in there, and finally the light at the end of the tunnel, what we can do with it once we collect it.

Tropical Forest
Our main focus is the forests' most important resource - water! You help with the maintenance and supply of our tree nursery; planting carefully selected saplings, gathered seeds and ongoing support of recently planted trees to ensure their success. We support the local Waterkeepers who patrol the river systems of Santa Teresa and neighboring tropical forest resources by helping to report any contamination, clear forest debris and litter from streams before it is washed out to sea and can cause further damage to wildlife, and by maintaining walking/hiking trails that allow visitors to access this beautiful area. It is also a great opportunity to learn about the biodiversity of flora and fauna in this special part of the world.

Jakera Club
The Jakera Club is all about community work with the kids of the Santa Teresa community. Here we team up and work hand in hand hosting extra curriculum activities for kids from our immediate vicinity. Our activities are run by international and local volunteers, and include sports, arts & crafts, English classes, environmental and social awareness activities. We also organise and run out of school activities (including Saturday afternoons) for the kids to appreciate entirely new experiences and adventures, including organised sea safety, beach and kids surf classes as well as nature conservation activities.

Week 3: Turtle Conservation Volunteering

This week will be spent at a Turtle Sanctuary that we support, CIRENAS Playa Ario. You’ll be protecting the eggs and hatchlings of Olive Ridley, Black Turtle, Hawksbill and Leatherback species, who visit local ‘semi intensive’ nesting beaches at night to nest. The principle objective of the project is to protect adult female turtles that frequent beaches along this coastline, and their nests, from human predators and wildlife, natural events such as beach erosion and flooding due to high amounts of rainfall in nesting season. This is achieved by maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings, beach cleaning, night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season), transport of food and water, collection of data and releasing baby turtles into the ocean (in season) and the construction of a hatchery.

Seasonal Support
It is important to note that although turtles nest frequently in peak nesting season (July to November), there will be times where turtle activity is very low. We still need help during most of the year for the construction and maintenance of the hatchery, critical for the upcoming season.

Week 4: Monte Verde National Park

In week 4 we go on a 4-day 4x4 overland adventure to explore Monte Verde National Park from Monday to Thursday. We will stay in the picturesque town of Santa Elena and enjoy hikes to explore two national parks - one in Cloud Forest and the other in Tropical Forest.

Day 1
After an early morning breakfast, we load up the jeep and drive east approximately one hour in time for the 09:00 Paquera ferry. Enjoy the 1-hour voyage to the ‘mainland’ and Puntarenas, before continuing a very scenic jeep transfer with amazing views across Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains roughly north for 2 hours to Monteverde arriving in time for lunch.

We will spend the next four days in the town of Santa Elena, staying at a hostel (breakfast and lunch provided with lots of local options for dinner). Each morning we will get up early to enjoy a 2-3 hour hike exploring this unique biosphere including guided tours of two national parks, Cloud Forest and Tropical Forest. After we explore the village of Santa Elena and surrounding area to get our bearings and discuss the plan for next couple days - for those who have a head for heights and want to ‘hug a tree’ there is a huge ‘Stangler’ fig tree that we can climb inside. Back to hostel for chill time before dinner.

Day 2
After breakfast we enjoy a guided hike to the Monte Verde Reserve to explore Cloud Forest and find out about its inhabitants and flora. This is one of the few places on earth where you can see the rare Quetzal bird and get spectacular views of both the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans. There are three kinds of monkey, medicinal plants and a plethora of insects and bird life. Back to the hostel for lunch and then your afternoon is free to chill or enjoy one of many activities including rope bridge, bungee jump and zip lining (from USD 50 per person), or visit to a coffee, cocoa and sugar cane plantation (from USD 30 per person), horse riding (from USD 50 per person), ATV tour (USD 60 per person) and canyoning (USD 70 per person).

Day 3
After breakfast we enjoy a guided hike to the Curicancha Reserve. This is primary rain forest hosting an array of animals plants and insects. Our guide will be able to identify and explain medicinal plants and wildlife, many unique to this environment. Back to the hostel for lunch - afternoon and evening free!

Day 4
Free morning to enjoy the activity of your choice before we head back to Puntarenas and the 14:00 ferry and return Santa Teresa early evening.

Free Time

During the weekends, there are a lot of opportunities to expore the area and try out different activities such as white water rafting, horse riding, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, whale watching, a jungle canopy tour etc. There is always something to do and if it all sounds too active, you can just enjoy the beach or pool.

Please note: Travel on the weekends, or any of the extra activities is at your own expense and risk. We cannot be responsible but, if anything happens, we will of course be there to assist. Please ensure that you have adequate medical insurance before you carry out any activity.

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Police Clearance Certificate

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Overzicht

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Extra kosten tijdens tour
None

Accommodatie

We have created a jungle paradise complete with swimming pool overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including capuchin and howler monkeys.

Accommodation is single sex dorms with beds, and separate toilet and shower facilities (hot and cold water!). Breakfast and lunch are provided but the daily routine will be structured to accommodate quality of the surf (generally better in the mornings) as we try to create opportunities for the beach in between our priorities of Spanish lessons and volunteering.

There is a laundry service in the local town for getting your clothes washed at a very reasonable price.

During week 3, you will be based at Cirenas. Accommodation is in a nice wooden house with 6 rooms, each with a couple of bunks up to 4 per room, a maximum of 16 guests. Open air showers and toilets, all rustic but clean and nice. Sheets, pillows, and mosquito nets are provided and all the rooms have fans. All 3 meals are served up at the main lodge and are good healthy Costa Rican dishes.

Please bring your own towel.

The arrival package includes airport transfer to the hostel in San Jose, one night in San Jose in dorm accommodation, transfer the following day from San Jose to Playa Santa Teresa.

Lokaal vervoer

You can either get to the project on your own, or make your arrival smoother by booking an airport transfer or an arrival package.

Airport Transfer
You can book your project including an airport transfer. Between 01 Jun and 14 Dec there is an airport transfer at 08:00 from San Jose. Between 15 Dec and 31 May there are transfers twice daily at 06:00 and 14:00 from San Jose.

Arrival Package
You can book an arrival package including 1 night in San Jose and a transfer the following day in case you can't make these transfers:
Between 01 Jun and 14 Dec there is an airport transfer at 08:00 from San Jose.
Between 15 Dec and 31 May there are transfers twice daily at 06:00 and 14:00 from San Jose.

Other Transportation
Local transportation during the program is at your own cost. If required you can book and pay for a departure transfer locally.

Maaltijden

Breakfast, lunch, and brunch on weekends are included. Safe drinking water, tea, coffee, natural soft drinks will be provided.
All food in our camp is organic, sourced from local farmers and fishermen with garnishes and a few extras from our own garden. Our menu is predominantly vegetarian, though we do also serve locally sourced meat and fish.
There is a kitchen at the camp where you can make your own food.
There are also social nights arranged at camp - pizza night, burger night, Mexican night etc where diiner costs between USD7-10.
Safe drinking water, tea, coffee, natural soft drinks will be provided throughout. Beers and sodas are not included.
Although menus will be local, they’ll be tempered to western tastes and vegetarians are easily accommodated. Salads, simple soups, tortillas, sweet plantains and local food made of tubers (similar to potatoes) are also popular.
You will need to help with cleaning dishes and keep your room and public areas tidy.
During your week at the turtle rescue centre all meals are included.

Houd er rekening mee

Volunteers will need dark coloured clothing to work at night, preferably long sleeved, flashlight with a red LED if possible, mosquito net, closed toe shoes for turtle patrols that will be comfortable and a waterproof jacket.
Light weight sleeping bag for night patrols and mosquito net are useful and should be in the packing list.

Learn Spanish, Surf or Yoga, Turtles & Adventure

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